Pennsylvanians: It’s a big day for us!

May 20, 2014
by carlsnodgrass

Obviously, the Primary is today. So find your polling place and get there before 8pm!

But did you also know, today’s the day Judge Jones will release his decision on Pennsylvania’s marriage equality case (Whitewood v. Wolf)? Big news coming out after 2pm. Stay tuned. (While you vote.)

UPDATE: Marriage Equality is a-go! Read the decision.

May 20, 2014
by carlsnodgrass
rockthevote:

There are a bunch of primary elections on the calendar today! Is your state on the list? Visit http://rockthevote.com/election-center/ to find all the info you need to Rock the Vote.
Polls are open (for each respective time zone) in:
Georgia from 7am to 7pm
Pennsylvania from 7am to 8pm
Kentucky from 6am to 6pm
Arkansas from 7:30am to 7:30pm
Idaho from 8am to 8pm
Oregon (return ballot to drop off site by 8pm)

rockthevote:

There are a bunch of primary elections on the calendar today! Is your state on the list? Visit http://rockthevote.com/election-center/ to find all the info you need to Rock the Vote.

Polls are open (for each respective time zone) in:

Georgia from 7am to 7pm

Pennsylvania from 7am to 8pm

Kentucky from 6am to 6pm

Arkansas from 7:30am to 7:30pm

Idaho from 8am to 8pm

Oregon (return ballot to drop off site by 8pm)

May 13, 2014
by carlsnodgrass
Donate to Long Distance Voter by Monday, May 19, and your donation will be DOUBLED. 
We have an anonymous donor who will match donations up to $15,000!
We have individual pages for the same cause, so you can choose who to give for:
Debra
Carl
Renee
Man Cini
Tom
or start your own on our behalf…

Donate to Long Distance Voter by Monday, May 19, and your donation will be DOUBLED.

We have an anonymous donor who will match donations up to $15,000!

We have individual pages for the same cause, so you can choose who to give for:

or start your own on our behalf…

OK, Oklahoma, what are you thinking?

April 9, 2014
by carlsnodgrass

Man, I’d really like to blog about GOOD news in voting more often.

But then I come across something like this from Oklahoma:

SB 1466, signed by the Governor on April 9, 2012, limits the number of absentee ballot affidavits a notary public may acknowledge to twenty, unless written approval is obtained from the secretary of the county election board.

I learned about this back in early 2013 and was flabbergasted. I came across it again today while updating our info and remembered just how insane it is.

Oklahoma requires absentee voters to get their ballots notarized or they will be rejected. Oklahoma was then apparently all, Sure, that makes voting *hard*, but what can we do to make it *even harder*? Oh right, we can say each notary can only notarize a maximum of 20 voters’ ballots. So, if your area has 1 notary and 21 absentee voters, good luck with that!

Stay klassy, Oklahoma.

North Carolina for the not-win

March 31, 2014
by carlsnodgrass

All right, North Carolina. That’s enough changing your laws all over the place already.

Sure, your big in-person voter photo ID law doesn’t happen until 2016. But you seem to have forgotten to mention that you’ve recently changed some other important stuff.

First, you finally made an official state form for absentee ballot requests. That’s kind of nice, since, prior to that, you required voters to actually type or handwrite a request themselves, making it hard for us to make sure people put the proper information on their requests, since you actually forbade us creating a ready-made application.

But now you will only accept the official form? You might want to, you know, make a little  effort to make sure people know that. I mean seriously, your site doesn’t even mention how things used to be or that you recently changed the entire way voters have to request their absentee ballot.

Then you go ahead and eliminate voter registration from One Stop Absentee Voting, and, again, kinda pretend it just never existed. Do you want voters to feel like they’re crazy? (‘Say, I could swear we used to be able to register to vote and vote all at once during the early voting period.’ ‘Nope. You’re wrong. Explanation: unnecessary.’) Plus, without voter registration, calling it “One Stop” seems a little, I don’t know, not true?

OK, OK, I know. I’m being a little bit hard on you and singling you out. Do you deserve it? Absolutely. Are you the worst offenders when it comes to needless complexity and lack of transparency in voting? Arguably, yes. But are only ones making trouble? No. And I know that. I’m just sayin’, no more surprises for a while, OK? We good?

March 24, 2014
by carlsnodgrass
2014 is a big election year. Voter ID laws are a pain.
We’ve got you covered. Reblog to spread the knowledge.
http://www.longdistancevoter.org/2014-voter-id-laws

2014 is a big election year. Voter ID laws are a pain.

We’ve got you covered. Reblog to spread the knowledge.

http://www.longdistancevoter.org/2014-voter-id-laws

January 17, 2014
by carlsnodgrass

This is a huge deal.

As the associate director of a nonpartisan voter advocacy org, I think this is a step in the right direction — reform needs to focus on increasing access and participation in no small part because there is no demonstrable voter fraud problem but a huge disenfranchisement problem.

As a Philadelphia resident and voter, I think this is the dang ol’ bee’s knees. Congrats to all my friends at the ACLU of PA. Good job.

November 11, 2013
by carlsnodgrass
We thank all our veterans who have fought bravely and selflessly to ensure that the legacy of our great nation endures.

We thank all our veterans who have fought bravely and selflessly to ensure that the legacy of our great nation endures.

Congrats to all the 2013 election winners + the importance of voting

November 6, 2013
by carlsnodgrass

A big congrats to everyone who won last night. I’d like to give a special (nonpartisan) congrats to my old neighbor, Bill de Blazio* — you’ve got a big job ahead of you and I wish you all the luck in the world!

On a related note, to everyone out there who doesn’t think their vote counts: look at yesterday’s election. Thanks to amazingly low voter turnout, there’s a district in NYC where Ray Lhota (R) won by 100%, receiving two (TWO!) votes. If one person had shown up to vote for de Blazio (or Jimmy McMillan, or any of the 14 other candidates), Lhota’s victory in that district would have dropped to two-thirds. That’s the power of voting.  Don’t forget to use it! And check out the map. It’s fun to play with!

*I lived next door to the headquarters of Councilperson Bill de Blasio for years. I’m proud to see a neighbor make it big.

Happy Election Day!

November 5, 2013
by carlsnodgrass

Sure, it’s an “off” year, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t elections!  We’ll be voting. How about you?

If you have any good voting stories, share them with us!

November 4, 2013
by carlsnodgrass

Happy Election Day Eve everyone!

Just a reminder for all PA residents (of which I am one) that, despite the state’s controversial, $1 million, tax-dollar-funded, you can still vote in Pennsylvania even if you don’t “have it” to “show it.”* (Your ID, that is.)

So vote safe tomorrow, and don’t let a pollworker turn you away from not bringing your ID!

*The exception is first-time voters. They do need to show ID.
October 31, 2013
by carlsnodgrass
It’s the Witching Season…and the VOTING Season! Boo, our resident dog, loves dressing up in fabulous costumes almost as much as she loves reminding you to get out there and vote.  She and Long Distance Voter wish you all a Safe and Spooktacular Halloween.

It’s the Witching Season…and the VOTING Season! Boo, our resident dog, loves dressing up in fabulous costumes almost as much as she loves reminding you to get out there and vote.  

She and Long Distance Voter wish you all a Safe and Spooktacular Halloween.

October 26, 2013
by carlsnodgrass

So good.

(True story: Don Yelton lost his job as a result of this interview.)

October 23, 2013
by carlsnodgrass

Excellent stuff from the excellent people at Balloon Juice:

Some voters are more important than others:

Two weeks ago, Richard Posner, one of the most respected and iconoclastic federal judges in the country, startled the legal world by publicly stating that he’d made a mistake in voting to uphold a 2005 voter-ID law out of Indiana, and that if he had properly understood the abuse of such laws, the case “would have been decided differently.”
For the past ten days, the debate over Judge Posner’s comments has raged on, even drawing a response from a former Supreme Court justice.
Judge Posner claimed, during an Oct. 11 interview with HuffPost Live, that at the time of the ruling, he “did not have enough information … about the abuse of voter identification laws” to strike down the Indiana statute. But he also said the dissenting judge on the panel, Terence Evans, had gotten it “right” when he wrote that the law was “a not-too-thinly-veiled attempt to discourage election-day turnout” by certain voters who tended to vote Democratic. (It was passed on a straight party-line vote by a Republican-controlled legislature.)
Last Thursday, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens sounded several of the same notes, telling the Wall Street Journal that while he “isn’t a fan of voter ID,” his own 2008 opinion upholding Judge Posner’s ruling was correct — given the information available at the time. Incidentally, Justice David Souter dissented for roughly the same reasons as Judge Evans, and Justice Stevens now says that “as a matter of history,” Justice Souter “was dead right.”
In other words, both the Seventh Circuit and the Supreme Court got the balance of burdens wrong, as Indiana University law professor Fran Quigley rightly noted. Given that voting is a fundamental right, Quigley wrote, “the burden should have been on the State of Indiana to prove the law was necessary, not the challengers to prove how it would trigger abuse.”
Judge Evans put it more pungently in his 2007 dissent, saying the law was effectively using “a sledgehammer to hit either a real or imaginary fly on a glass coffee table.”

Rather than acknowledge this reality, Judge Posner’s original opinion dismissed the importance of the voters’ claims, contending that since no election gets decided by a single vote, the “benefits of voting to the individual voter are elusive.”

I’ve written about this twice before and some commenters (understandably angry) said that it doesn’t matter what Posner (and Stevens) say now because the deed is done.

It does matter, because we’re finally reaching the heart of this dispute. The conservative view on voting never made any sense. Voting is so unimportant that it doesn’t matter if people (here and there, whatever) are wrongfully disenfranchised AND so important that we need ever-increasing restrictions to “fight fraud.”

If one fraudulent vote is such an insult to the system that even the chance of that occurring justifies more and more restrictions, then one wrongfully disenfranchised voter is also vitally important and should justify protections. They can’t have it both ways, and they didn’t. They had it one way. Their way.

Their votes are important and can’t be “diluted” by the rest of you riffraff and their faith in the validity of elections is central and can’t be threatened even in the abstract, but your vote or your faith in the validity of elections when voters are disenfranchised? Get over it.

It’s official: We’re a 2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit!

October 16, 2013
by carlsnodgrass

Thanks to our amazing fans, we’re one of the first winners of this year’s Top-Rated Award from GreatNonprofits!

You guys are THE BEST!